David Paterson, who finished his term as governor yesterday, and former Gov. Mario Cuomo, who led the state from 1983 to 1994, were among the guests in the War Room of the Capitol this afternoon when Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his inaugural address. Former Govs. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in 1998 amid a prostitution scandal, George Pataki of Garrison, Putnam County, and Hugh Carey of New York City were not in attendance.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised Paterson, who leaves office with low approval ratings, for governing during “what will go down as one of the most difficult periods of time in the history of this state,” referring to New York’s poor economy and the ongoing state budget crisis. New York faces a budget deficit of roughly $9 billion in the fiscal year that begins April 1.
“He became captain of the ship just when the ship was heading into a storm and he warned us about the storm and he brought us through the storm,” Cuomo said of Paterson, whom he called a personal friend.
Paterson is retiring from state service after roughly 25 years, including as a state senator, lieutenant governor and governor.